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Nursing home sued after poor resident monitoring leads to death

Choosing to place a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision. That choice can be made even more daunting when one considers the potential safety risks posed by nursing homes. It is not uncommon for nursing home residents to fall victim to bedsores, a nursing home fall, unexplained nursing home bruising brought on by elder abuse, or rapid weight loss. All of these conditions are brought on by nursing home neglect, and Miami residents should be aware of the dangers.

A recently filed lawsuit against a nursing home shows the dangers of low staffing levels. In that case, an 84 year old nursing home resident died of hypothermia after she walked out of the institution. At the time, the nursing home was staffed by only one resident care assistant, who was responsible for monitoring all 30 residents. An investigation of the nursing home found the institution posed a real and present danger.

The deceased's estate is seeking damages stemming from her sustained injuries, pain and suffering before passing away, and most likely wrongful death. However, these cases are fact intensive and require a careful analysis before a lawsuit is brought. Yet, if a surviving family member wins the case, he can recover compensation.

Awards obtained from a successful nursing home neglect suit can help with costs wrongly incurred by the surviving family. For example, medical expenses associated with trying to save the deceased and funeral costs can be paid off with the case's winnings. This way, the victim's family can move on with remembering their loved one without seeing painful reminders of how horribly she was wronged.

Lawsuits also punish negligent nursing homes so they will work to be in full compliance with the law, industry regulations, and resident expectations. Nursing home injuries should not, therefore, go without legal action. It may be one of the only ways to ensure such terrible instances do not happen to future residents.

Source: The Youngstown Vindicator, "Estate of woman who died at nursing home sues," Apr. 11, 2013

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